Costuming- Final Post

We’re perfecting our final run-throughs, and I got to see the show for the first time. It was great- BUY TICKETS TO SISTER ACT! I came back with a full page of notes and a greater appreciation for Anika’s raw talent. We’re currently scrambling to put velcro in the back of habits. The backs open during some of the rougher choreography. Although today is a Wednesday, I’m staying after school to fix them for the full rehearsal tomorrow. I’ve probably spent 5 hours a week at Costuming a week, minimum. Recently, it’s been more like 8 hours a week. However much time I spend costuming really just depends on what needs to get done.

While watching the run-through was cool, it added a lot of stress to my plate. I saw a dozen flaws and alterations that needed to get done. The show is done enough that there’s nothing glaring out at us but tons of little alterations would make the show look so much nicer. I’m going to try to get as much of this done as I can, as will Jordan and Sophie, but there’s a little voice in my head telling me that the show will never look as seamless as I would like. I understand that it’s a high school production and that the budget this year is smaller than last years, but I wish I could have done more. I guess we’ll see how the show turns out!

For my indepth presentation, I’m showing a short video that introduces myself, Jordan, and Sophie, as well as some behind the scenes clips in the making of the costumes and then the costumes on stage. I might also film a quick change and some behind the scenes of the actual show. I figured having a video of the show was more interesting than a montage of sewing and cutting fabric, which was most of the year.

In-Depth Blog Post 6

Time has flown by so fast. This project is coming to an end already?! Are you kidding?!

 I have had a few hardships as well as accomplishments the time that passed after my last blog post.

I have practiced extensively with Albert to ensure that we are both 100% ready for our presentation of in-depth night.

Sadly this is improvised acting, it is extremely hard to prepare anything, so I found that a tad bit difficult. I’m also quite anxious about the presentation night, but naturally I love being on stage and my plan is to just enjoy it.

 Because I am doing an improv play, I can only try to improve my quick time decision making, and hope that I make the right decisions on stage. Albert and I are still planning one more improv workshop with our mentor before in-depth night, and we are also planning to attend a professional improv show between now and in-depth night. We will then report back to our mentor, Graham, explaining what we learned from the show, what we liked, and how we could use the experience to improve our improv skills.

We are still in the process of trying to make a guideline for our work.

Since this entire art form is mimed, we need an environment, character, lines, props, all made on the spot. I’m thinking we showcase a bit of activities and games to establish those components and then make a scene out of it. Whether it be funny or not, I feel more ready than I already have.

In-Depth Post #6:

Since the last In-Depth Post, I have been to SFU multiple times to work with both Daria and Dr. Jamieson.  It was a little challenging to analyze the fish bones this time, because I was analyzing bones from a different house pit, and boy did they eat a lot of salmon in this house. The vertebrate segments per square were as high as 50+, which is at least 3 or 4 fish. Though my task is getting more difficult with more broken pieces of bones per bag, with time I was slowly adapting to this challenge. It’s actually really fun! In addition to that, I also talked with Dr. Jamieson on his project at the Galapagos, and collecting photos for In-Depth Night.

I also took a lot of footage of the archaeology department, as well as some videos of me working on bone-analyzation that I plan on putting in my final presentation.

Speaking of which, I plan on presenting my learning as a stage “performance”: showing a video of all of the type of work I’ve been doing at the archaeology department. Unfortunately, getting all the artifacts and tools outside of the department is very difficult, and some information is restricted to staff at the department only. Therefore, I plan on making a montage of all of my progress. Similarly, in archaeology, there are times when artifacts excavated at certain locations are not allowed to be transported back to university labs, so the archaeologists would need to take a lot of photos of said artifacts in order to analyze them back home. In fact, that’s what I just did with Dr. Jamieson yesterday at his office. Using a photo-organizing software called Tropy, I entered artifact numbers for the artifact photos he excavated at the Galapagos Island to correspond with the Microsoft Access Datasheet. Since there’s a lot of pictures of the same artifact, the artifact number will help him find all the pictures related to that one single number. Based on the materials found in the midden (pretty much a garbage dump), he is attempting to recreate the material culture of the people who lived on San Cristobal Island. Based on what I’ve seen so far, the majority of the garbage consisted of glass alcohol bottles of various shapes (I guess the villagers were really living it up). There really is no way to “leave no trace”. So much of the unnoticed details in life reveal so much about the lifestyle of one person. It’s slightly lamentable that in the future, archaeologists will likely be looking at our plastic waste, because that’s most of the physical objects we seem to be leaving behind now. I think archaeology will look very different in the future. We’ll see.

I still plan on going to the Archaeology Department regularly in the future, if possible. Dr. Jamieson actually gave me a folder with some information on studying Archaeology at SFU. Who knows what the future has in store? Perhaps sometime in the far future, some archaeologist will be analyzing my bones, attempting to understand the unspoken stories of my life. If they look at “me”, what will they say? I wonder.

Image Credit to

We’re not makers of history. We are made by history.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Indepth post: Number 6 (final post before indepth night)

Hey Y’all,

So, as in-depth night comes closer, I am finishing my last recipe before replicating them to share with my mentor. The final item that we are making is bread. This may not seem very difficult at first, but the fact that it is gluten free increases the chance for the bread to fail miserably. I will post pictures and show the steps for making the bread later.

Thus far, I have learned how to:

  1. Bake a variety of gluten free foods (muffins, pie, crisps, etc.)
  2. Replace glutenous ingredients with gluten free ingredients
  3. Adapt a recipe to improve the flavour or texture
  4. Remove yolks from eggs
  5. Memorize 7 recipes

I believe that this is a more than worthwhile study as I can apply it to my life in the future for family get-togethers, trips and other events that could require culinary support. The ability that I found most useful was that I learned how to substitute different flours by adding 1 tsp of xanthan gum per cup of GF flour. Xanthan gum allows the food to stick together, like gluten in normal flour. I also learned a flour mix consisting of 50% rice flour, 25% potato flour and 25% corn flour (or something similar). This is the most versatile and effective combination of GF flour that I have ever learned how to make or eaten, and I am very grateful that my mentor taught me how to replicate it.

Beyond culinary skills, I developed a relationship with my mentor and piano teacher. I realized that she knew MUCH more than how to teach piano, but that she had an ability to create gluten free dishes that were good enough to appear as though it was made with real non-gluten free flour. She has been a blessing to this project and to my work as she was flexible with dates and able to help me when I couldn’t quite do what the recipe required.

Overall, this year of in-depth was worlds more successful than last year’s guitar project. I have learned skills that I will use in the future, and improved my ability to comprehend the art of food. I would like to thank my mentor for helping me with this project.

Until next time.

In-Depth – The Final Stretch

Good progress has been made since the last in-depth post! Yuwen and I have each picked a song that is around 1 minute long so as to not surpass our allotted performance time. My song is from a fairly recent Chinese drama, and it can be roughly translated to “One who chases the light,” and Yuwen’s song is from a drama based on her eminent person’s life, and the translation for this song’s title is “Blank Stele.” We’ve started practicing these two pieces, but there are more technical elements that need to be added to spice up the songs.

I’ve made my way through a few more songs, including the Flower drum song, and I’m learning more about controlling my tempo and managing a faster and more consistent rhythm. I’m focusing more on improving current techniques rather than learning new ones, which will be helpful for our performance. I’m about halfway through the third level, which is not quite as fast as I hoped I would be, but I think that my progress has been consistent lately which is very good. There’s been success in my pieces as I’ve been practicing harmonies.

One challenge that always seems to crop up is that I have a rather skewed sense of tempo. I speed up at parts which are easier, and struggle through parts that have more difficulty. I’ve been trying to work through this by using a metronome or tapping my foot to help keep myself on beat. This has been actually working pretty well, so I guess I could call it a success.

Another challenge was definitely finding the right song. The first song I thought of was “Fairytale” by Guang Liang, which is one of my childhood favourites. However, I soon discovered that the song sounded too much like a vocal melody and switched gears. Eventually I remembered my current choice of song, which I had listened to upon a friend’s recommendation. After playing it through I found that it was definitely workable.

Last In-Depth Post

With the start of April-May-June, the past couple of weeks have been quite hectic, yet much more productive than usual. I’ve had small amounts of free time here and there, and I dedicated those segments to a larger baking project. Puff pastry is very time consuming, with the many folds and chillings that need to be done before it is completed, so it took a couple of days just to prepare the dough itself. I was originally going to use that dough to make croissants, but despite my best efforts, it turned out to be very uneven and sticky. I used the dough to then instead make just puff-pastry squares and attempt croissants later. I have a couple more recipes that I want to attempt and finalize, which take up the time right before in-depth night.


Additionally, it was my mom’s birthday a couple days ago. While my in-depth is mainly about dough, practicing utilizing batters is also important for obtaining experience. We made a cake that is based off of a soufflé batter, and has many components to its icing. It was one of the only cakes available to the public back in the communist days of Russia.


During In-depth night, I want to assemble a sampling station for the various types of dough and pastries. If I have about 10 different types of pastries with about 20 bite sized pieces, then that would be quite a sufficient amount for a presentable learning center. As this is quite a large amount, I will do my best to prepare for all this baking by premaking the majority of the dough. Also, I will provide copies of the recipes, suggestions for dietary adjustments, and additional baking tip. The hardest part of the preparation process of this will probably be how organized I have to be in order to complete this large task. In the end, I can only hope that this doesn’t go wrong and I don’t poison anyone.

A not so In-depth Look at my In-Depth Night Preparations

Finally, time for the last In-Depth progress post! (I shouldn’t be too excited, as In-Depth night is fast approaching 😐) In this post, I will mostly outline what I plan to have in my learning centre on the “Big Day”.

I plan to have several boards/mindmaps/separate displays, to fit the main categories that I’ve spread my project out to. The first one would contain key terms related to investing spread out like a mind map. The goal of this is to have people look at it and get a general sense of what is going to be talked about, or for them to learn some of the most important words and definitions. It will look like this in my mind.


The next board will have some degree of interactivity, I hope. What I am thinking right now would be to have a list of articles on the table, printed out, and ask what each person would do in this scenario. If I can, I will have an iPad with current holdings (imaginary just to fit the exercise), and stock trend charts until the day the news report came out. The reports will be of something positive or negative, and people would need to respond by buying more, selling or shorting, or holding and doing nothing. At some point, I will introduce how different mainstream investment ideas will respond to the news, and “predict” how the stock will go. It is an exercise to practice critical thinking and to learn some investment strategies and market psychology. Below is the general outline.


In the last part, there will be a “self-serve” information section with different types of ways to invest. I am thinking of having three boxes labelled with high risk, medium risk and low risk that contains paper slips inside. The idea is to have people reach into the box that they are comfortable with and pull out a method that they can invest. One challenge with this method is that in some boxes, there won’t be a lot of paper slips, so it would feel empty when people do the draw.


I am still trying to think of new ideas or to perfect my current ones. Suggestions welcomed!

For my progress so far, I am behind schedule, as I haven’t started frequently looking at finance new and actually buying things. I should be trading at least five times a week, and right now it is more like two. I will try to redesign my schedule by Thursday night, and hopefully, I can get on track. By the way, I have finished all of the Khan Academy videos on Stock and Bonds, but I will still keep watching about mortgages, banks and inflation.

All images made from MS Paint.

In-Depth: Last Blog Post!

Wow, it really is hard to believe that we’ve already made it this far. In-depth night is only about a month away, so I’ve started putting together my learning center. It has come to my attention that I cannot present everything I learned along the way, but I can showcase the highlights.

Recently, I have managed to finish up my large-scale sketches of the site I have been working on. I have also started my model, but unfortunately it isn’t completed yet. My goal is to make the model as exact to the sketch as possible, which is quite difficult, but doable. If I have any extra time, I hope to create more sketches of my site from different angles to capture all the perspectives. A few challenges I have come across would be that my mentor and I didn’t stay in touch as much as we intended to. I believe this was the case because he was able to set me off on a strong start, and now I am kind of managing on my own. Although, we haven’t had a meeting very recently, I will make sure to plan one with him as soon as I can to describe my progress as ideas for in-depth night.

There were also many parts of my project that were successful. For example, I have reached my goal from the beginning of the year, which was to learn about the basics of architecture and how to design a site, using the right tools. I was able to get access to these tools to create sketches and models. My mentor helped me understand this, and I am grateful to have a guide along the way.

Lastly, what is my plan for in-depth night?

I am hoping that my in-depth learning center will include all the sketches of my site, which include the very first rough drafts, a large-scale rough draft, a large-scale good sketch, and a sketch from a different perspective (if I have the time). I would also want to present the model I have created. It is quite small, so it would be able to fit on a regular sized desk or table. The tools I have used during this whole project will be displayed too, and a short description of my in-depth will most likely be on a poster board. I’m excited yet nervous for in-depth night because it’s so hard to believe it is almost over. Hopefully my learning center will be as I planned, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone else’s projects as well!

In depth #6

I am genuinely happy with what I have done over the past four months. I have managed to learn a lot more about event photography and some unique skills I never thought I would have learned. I learned about what to keep in mind as a photographer on events, how to work with different clients and what I need to do to stay relevant. Since I have accumulated all this knowledge since January, I will need to find an appropriate way to display it and show my work to others. The way I have decided to do this is through a learning center, however from nearly two years of my TALONS experience, I know exactly what I will be doing to make my learning centre effective. Seeing multiple learning centres from previous eminents and In-Depths, I have come to the conclusion that the most important part of any learning centre is the TALONS learner themselves. It is best to have a learning centre that highlights some of the best parts as conversation starters, then have the TALONS learner expand and provide more insight; this is better than having a lot of writing and descriptions of your work. I plan on showcasing my photos for people to look at, as well as having my camera and lenses for people to try out to see what it is like to be an event photographer. As In-Depth night itself is an event, I can use it as a prime example of what to look for when taking photos (Which angles, how to get faces etc.). Showing people what I have been doing through first hand experience, in my opinion, is the best way for them to grasp what I have to do.